It’s hard to stay calm and focused when you are under the gun. Times like that, having the right time management tools at hand is a real lifesaver.

So, as summer draws to a close and many of us are getting ready to get back to work or school, isn’t this the perfect time to think about how to manage the pressures of multiple priorities and looming deadlines? The skills you develop now will serve you well when you need them most.

To get the ball rolling, here's a fresh approach to this entire subject. How about transforming your deadlines, each and every one of them, into rewarding exercises in productivity? Not only does this enhance your efficiency, it also builds your confidence, reduces your stress and offers you peace of mind, too.

So, I invite you to think of deadlines as a series of boundary challenges that you possess the power to manage. It is so important that you keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that you have the power to manage whatever deadline or series of deadlines you are working with. These are your deadlines; you are in charge of them.

Use the 5 Time Tips outlined below, knowing that as you practice these skills, you continually develop and improve your ability to achieve the goals you’ve set. This success generates enormous vitality and fundamentally changes the way you relate to deadlines. Doesn’t that sound like a win-win proposition?

5 Time Tips

1. Understand and respect your hard deadlines.

Hard deadlines are themselves time boundaries: something has to be done by a specific time and date. These deadlines are non-negotiable and offer excellent opportunities to develop and exercise focus and self-reference. That’s because to successfully meet a hard deadline you need to set boundaries for yourself (and possibly also for others). When working with a hard boundary it is helpful to identify how meeting the deadline will benefit you. That helps you connect with the task more fully, as you feel your personal investment in accomplishing it.

2. Tune in to your power potential.

The next step is to open up and let in the powerful reality that this deadline is fully your responsibility to meet. Assimilating this fact heightens your feeling of power and your motivation to assume responsibility. If it’s helpful, you can think of these boundaries as your lifelines, because they help you to make good choices and to follow through.

3. Get clear about your hard and soft deadlines.

Soft deadlines work very well in tandem with hard deadlines. They are actually more like guidelines than deadlines. As necessary, they can be rescheduled to better manage hard deadlines. Just be sure they don’t fall off your To Do List entirely! A good example of a task where soft deadlines can work is raking leaves. You want to be sure to clean them up before the snow flies, but you can exercise some flexibility as to exactly when you do this.

4. Use soft deadlines in combination with hard deadlines.

You can use soft deadlines to reduce the pressure of hard deadlines. Create your soft deadline well in advance of the hard deadline so you have breathing room. Another related time tool that can be helpful with hard deadlines is using the “times-2 rule” when creating your schedule. Building in extra time for each step puts you in an excellent position to meet your deadline (maybe even with time to spare)!.

5. Create a "due date" master plan.

Life isn’t simple, and we often have competing priorities. So it's very helpful to step back, scan your schedule and To Do List, and coordinate your various hard and soft deadlines. When you do this, be sure to include time to sustain your emotional and physical health. By focusing on your inner wellbeing, and releasing non-essentials, you shift from an outward-looking scarcity mentality to a self-referenced inner abundance mentality.

Shifting your energetic approach to boundaries and building your time management skills means that you see managing and meeting deadlines as really activating your power. As you build on your successes, you reinforce self-trust, generate more self-confidence, enjoy your productivity, and actually find more time!

And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit, which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.

Author's Bio: 

Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors to make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

You can learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Follow your heart-based path to finding time for what matters most.